Jack Dorsey just met with Trump to talk about the health of Twitter’s public discourse


This post is by Taylor Hatmaker from TechCrunch


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Twitter’s co-founder and CEO historically doesn’t have the most discerning tastes when it comes to who he decides to engage with. Fresh off the podcast circuit, today a thoroughly beardy Jack Dorsey sat down with President Trump for his most high profile tête-à-tête yet.

Unlike his recent amble onto the Joe Rogan show, Dorsey’s 30 minute meeting with Trump happened behind closed doors. Motherboard reported the meeting just before Trump tweeted about it.

Unless either of the men decides to share more about what they discussed we won’t know how things went down exactly, though it’s probably easy enough to guess. According to the

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Twitter Q1 flies past estimates with sales of $787M and EPS of $0.25, but MAUs drop to 330M


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


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Social networking and media platform Twitter today reported its results for the first quarter of the year, and it’s a strong one. The company said that revenues came in at $787 million, up 18 percent on a year ago; with net income of $191 million and earnings per share of $0.25. However, monthly active users continue to paint a challenging picture (no surprise that MAUs are a dying metric for the company). Twitter says MAUs were 330 million in Q1, a drop of 6 million users compared to a year ago, although up 9 million on last quarter.

Monetizable daily active users — Twitter’s new and preferred metric for user numbers — were 134 million in the quarter, up 11 percent on a year ago. (Note: the earlier 28 million figure we used here was US-only.)

Still, on the financial side, this is a strong set of results for

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Jack Dorsey says it’s time to rethink the fundamental dynamics of Twitter


This post is by Anthony Ha from TechCrunch


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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took the stage today at the TED conference. But instead of giving the standard talk, he answered questions from TED’s Chris Anderson and Whitney Pennington Rodgers.

For most of the interview, Dorsey outlined steps that Twitter has taken to combat abuse and misinformation, but Anderson explained why the company’s critics sometimes find those steps so insufficient and unsatisfying. He compared Twitter to the Titanic, and Dorsey to the captain, listening to passengers’ concerns about the iceberg up ahead — then going back to the bridge and showing “this extraordinary calm.”

“It’s democracy at stake, it’s our culture at stake,” Anderson said, echoing points made yesterday in a talk by journalist Carole Cadwalladr. So why isn’t Twitter addressing these issues with more urgency?

“We are working as quickly as we can, but quickness will not get the job done,” Dorsey replied. “It’s focus, it’s prioritization, it’s

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Twitter to launch a ‘hide replies’ feature, plus other changes to its reporting process


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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In February, Twitter confirmed its plans to launch a feature that would allow users to hide replies that they felt didn’t contribute to a conversation. Today, alongside news of other changes to the reporting process and its documentation, Twitter announced the new “Hide Replies” feature is set to launch in June.

Twitter says the feature will be an “experiment” — which means it could be changed or even scrapped, based on user feedback.

The feature is likely to spark some controversy, as it puts the original poster in control of which tweets appear in a conversation thread. This, potentially, could silence dissenting opinions or even fact-checked clarifications. But, on the flip side, the feature also means that people who enter conversations with plans to troll or make hateful remarks are more likely to see their posts tucked away out of view.

This, Twitter believes, could help encourage people to present

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Get ready for a new era of personalized entertainment


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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New machine learning technologies, user interfaces and automated content creation techniques are going to expand the personalization of storytelling beyond algorithmically generated news feeds and content recommendation.

The next wave will be software-generated narratives that are tailored to the tastes and sentiments of a consumer.

Concretely, it means that your digital footprint, personal preferences and context unlock alternative features in the content itself, be it a news article, live video or a hit series on your streaming service.

The title contains different experiences for different people.

From smart recommendations to smarter content

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Nancy Pelosi warns tech companies that Section 230 is ‘in jeopardy’


This post is by Taylor Hatmaker from TechCrunch


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In a new interview with Recode, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made some notable comments on what by all accounts is the most important law underpinning the modern internet as we know it.

Section 230 is as short as it is potent, so it’s worth getting familiar with. It states “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

When asked about Section 230, Pelosi referred to the law as a “gift” to tech companies that have leaned heavily on the law to grow their business. That provision, providing tech platforms legal cover for content created by their users, is what allowed services like Facebook, YouTube and many others to swell into the massive companies they are today.

Pelosi continued:

“It is a gift to them and I don’t think that

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Twitter updates twttr prototype app with engagement swipes, conversation tweaks, better Dark mode and more


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


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Twitter’s new prototyping app twttr, which it created to test and get feedback on new features — and new approaches to old features — has been out in the wild for a month. Now, with Twitter taking in the first wave of responses from users, twttr is getting an update. The move highlights how Twitter continues to chip away at ongoing criticism that it is too confusing for most people to use, which has impacted overall growth for the social media platform.

The latest version of twttr is a decent step ahead in that mission. Updates include: the introduction of a swiping gesture, specifically in conversations to like or reply to a Tweet; new labels in threads indicating who is the original poster and who you follow and improved visibility with dark mode. Ironically — even as Twitter has shifted to putting experimental features into twttr — the latter app is

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To cut down on spam, Twitter cuts the number of accounts you can follow per day


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Twitter just took another big step to help boot spammers off its platform: it’s cutting the number of accounts Twitter users can follow, from 1,000 per day to just 400. The idea with the new limits is that it helps prevent spammers from rapidly growing their networks by following then unfollowing Twitter accounts in a “bulk, aggressive or indiscriminate manner” – something that’s a violation of the Twitter Rules.

A number of services were recently banned from Twitter’s API for doing this same thing.

Several companies had been offering tools that allowed their customers to automatically follow a large number of users with little effort. This works as a growth tactic because some

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Twitter’s latest test focuses on making conversations easier to follow by labeling tweets


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Twitter continues to experiment with ways to make conversations on its platform easier to follow. In addition to its prototype app twttr, which is testing threaded replies, the company also recently tested labeling replies to highlight those from the “original tweeter” – meaning it would show when the person who first tweeted a post then replied within the conversation thread. Now, Twitter is changing up this labeling system again.

On Thursday, the company said a new test was rolling out which would instead label the “original tweeter” as “Author” – a term that’s a bit more straightforward .

“Original tweeter” had been a nod to the commonly used term”original poster,” which designates the person who started a conversation on an internet message board or online forum. But if the goal was to make Twitter easier to understand for those who are less tech-savvy, “original tweeter” may have been more confusing if

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Twitter now lets users appeal violations within its app


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Twitter today announced a new feature that will allow users to appeal a tweet that’s in violation of Twitter’s rules directly within the Twitter app. When users post content in violation of Twitter’s guidelines, that tweet can be flagged or reported, resulting in an account suspension or lockout. Before, users would have to visit an online form to appeal Twitter’s decision.

Accounts can be suspended for a range of activity including spam, being a fake account, security risks (like hacked accounts), and abusive tweets or behavior such as sending threats or impersonating other accounts. (The latter which Twitter itself recently did as a joke. Ha ha ha. How hilarious to send 2FA codes over DM!)

How to Switch to Twitter’s New iOS ‘Dark Mode’


This post is by David Murphy from Lifehacker


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Twitter announced today that its iOS app has a few expanded options for Dark Mode, if you’d prefer to not go blind by staring at the app’s regular white background all day long. You now have two options to pick from—“Dim” mode, which combines black and darker grays, and “Lights out” mode, which sets your background to…

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Twitter’s introduces a battery-saving ‘Lights Out’ dark mode option


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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As promised back in January by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the company today is rolling out an even darker version of the app’s existing dark mode. Before, Twitter’s dark theme was more of a blue-ish shade instead of a true black, which not everyone seemed to like. Now, there’s an optional setting that makes the current dark mode more of a pitch black.

To use the new feature, you’ll first visit the Twitter app’s “Settings and Privacy” section, then click on “Display and Sound.” From there, you can toggle on the “Dark mode” which enables the current blue-black theme.

A second option, “Lights out” is offered below. If checked, dark mode ditches the blue tones and becomes black instead.

It’s an

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Twitter took over a user’s account and joked about reading their DMs


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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At a time when tech giants have come under fire for failing to protect the private data of their users, Twitter took over one of its user’s accounts for fun and then tweeted jokes about reading the account’s private messages. The account, to be clear, was willingly volunteered for this prank by social media consultant Matt Navarra, who’s well-known in some Twitter circles for being among the first to spot new features on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

In fact, TechCrunch itself has credited Navarra on a number of occasions for his tweets about features like Twitter’s new camera, Facebook’s “time spent” dashboard, Facebook’s “Explore” feed, Instagram’s “Do Not Disturb” setting, and more. Several other tech news sites have done the same, which means Navarra’s private messages (direct messages, aka DM’s) probably included a lot of conversations between himself and various reporters.

He’s also

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Don’t Change Your Twitter Birthday to 2007


This post is by Emily Price from Lifehacker


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There’s a new Twitter prank going around that suggests that if you change your birthday to 2007, the year Twitter launched, you’ll be able to unlock a new color scheme, get admin privileges on the platform, get cash, or even get yourself a coveted blue verified check mark. There’s just one problem: doing so will…

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The ethics of internet culture: a conversation with Taylor Lorenz


This post is by Danny Crichton from TechCrunch


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Taylor Lorenz was in high demand this week. As a prolific journalist at The Atlantic and about-to-be member of Harvard’s prestigious Nieman Fellowship for journalism, that’s perhaps not surprising. Nor was this the first time she’s had a bit of a moment: Lorenz has already served as an in-house expert on social media and the internet for several major companies, while having written and edited for publications as diverse as The Daily Beast, The Hill, People, The Daily Mail, and Business Insider, all while remaining hip and in touch enough to currently serve as a kind of youth zeitgeist translator, on her beat as a technology writer for The Atlantic.

Lorenz is in fact publicly busy enough that she’s one of only two people I personally know to have openly ‘quit email,’ the other being my friend Russ, an 82 year-old retired engineer and MIT

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Elon Musk defends tweets in SEC’s contempt proceedings


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from TechCrunch


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Tesla CEO Elon Musk argued Friday that his Twitter use did not violate a settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and that the agency’s request to have him held in contempt is based on a “radical interpretation” of the order, according to court papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

The SEC has asked a judge to hold Musk in contempt for violating a settlement agreement reached last year over Musk’s now infamous “funding secured” tweet. Under that agreement, Musk is supposed to get approval from Tesla’s board before communicating potentially material information to investors.

Musk contends he didn’t violate the agreement and that the problem lies in the SEC’s interpretation, which he describes as “virtually wrong at every level.” The filing also reveals new details about the settlement negotiations, notably that the SEC sent Musk a draft agreement that would have required him to obtain pre-approval for

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Twitter cracks down on API abuse, will charge B2B devs


This post is by Josh Constine from TechCrunch


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To prevent its own Cambridge Analytica and make sure it’s getting paid for its data, Twitter will audit developers using its APIs. Starting June 19th, Twitter will require any app that calls a recent tweets from or mentions of a user more than 100,000 times per day to submit their app for review.

If a developer proves they have a legitimate consumer use case, like running a third-party Twitter client or doing research, they’ll be granted free access to the API at the same rate they have today. If they primarily use the data to serve business customers as a B2B tool, like for customer service or social media monitoring, they’ll have to pay to enter a commercial licensing agreement with Twitter with a custom price based on usage. Twitter refused to even specify the range those prices fall into, which won’t win it any extra trust.

Developers found to

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Devin Nunes sues Twitter over mean tweets from parody account of his mom


This post is by Taylor Hatmaker from TechCrunch


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California Representative Devin Nunes announced that he will file a $250,000 lawsuit against Twitter, alleging that the company engages in “explicit censorship” and has allowed critics to defame him on the platform. Simultaneously complaining that Twitter silences its critics while asking Twitter to silence his critics is a curious legal strategy, but really it’s par for the course for one of President Trump’s most theatrically partisan and unabashed allies.

Nunes first threatened legal action against Twitter last year after claiming that the company was “shadow banning” conservatives, effectively burying their accounts. Twitter clarified that the network does not bury any user content based on ideology and that a since-resolved algorithmic issue failed to populate auto suggestions for some Twitter users, including both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Now, the Republican representative appears to be following through on last year’s threat. TechCrunch reached out to Rep. Nunes to request a copy of

🐄

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Twitter confirms a new ‘Subscribe to Conversation’ feature for following tweets of interest


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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In addition to testing out a new format for conversations within a prototype app called twttr and other features like a “Hide Tweet” button, Twitter today confirmed it’s also developing a feature that would allow users to subscribe to individual conversations taking place on its platform.

The new option was first spotted by Jane Wong, a reverse engineer who often peeks inside popular apps to discover their yet-to-be-launched features and changes.

Wong tells TechCrunch she found the “Subscribe to conversation” feature within the Android version of the Twitter app, where it’s a user interface prototype for now. The button simply reads “Subscribe to conversation” and is positioned at the top right corner of a tweet view, she says.

Reached

🛠
💬

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Daily Crunch: Social media struggles with shooting tragedy


This post is by Anthony Ha from TechCrunch


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The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Videos of shooting tragedy in New Zealand continue resurfacing on social media

Earlier today there was a horrendous mass mosque shooting in New Zealand that killed 49 people — and because this is 2019, social media was used by the apparent murderers to plan, announce, broadcast and virally resonate what they did.

Some of that — such as the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the perpetrator — have been deleted. Yet nearly 12 hours later, you can still find multiple copies of the shooting videos on YouTube and Twitter, with some being used to promote other things.

2. Facebook loses CPO Chris Cox and WhatsApp VP Chris Daniels

Chief Product Officer Chris Cox is departing the

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